5 Must-do's for building great SaaS SEO blogs
About the author
Jeff Chang (@JeffChang30) is a growth technical leader at Pinterest and angel investor. If your US based software startup is looking for an angel investor who can help with all things growth, please send over an email!
People find software to buy on Google. Google rankings for popular SaaS terms have become so competitive now on both the SEO and SEM front that it’s not uncommon for CPCs for popular query terms to be over $10. As competition increases over time, generally these CPC’s keep going up also. All of this is why it’s important for SaaS companies to invest in SEO as a cheaper, scalable, long-term solution. The most common tactic that SaaS companies use to gain SEO traffic is to build a blog, and this blog post will talk about 5 “must-do’s” to build a successful one.
1. Write your own blog posts
Quality > Quantity. One key thing to understand is that SaaS SEO is often a head-term (high volume, common search terms, ex. “CRM”) game, where there are only a relatively few terms that are relevant to potential customers. Consumer products usually have a larger set of relevant key terms, so they usually play the quantity game to win the long-tail. So, your goal is to have the best content to maximize your chances of ranking first for the head terms.
Operationally what this means is that you should write your own content instead of outsourcing it. Chances are, if you are a startup founder or early startup employee, you have deep insight into the space your company is in and can write content that’s not available on the internet already. If you outsource your content, you don’t have a content edge over someone else that also outsources content. In addition, having a credible writer gives blog posts more credibility which will lead to increased shares, engagement, and indirectly ranking. This is part of the reason Justin Kan, CEO of Atrium, writes blog posts on the Atrium blog!
2. Own your blog
“Own your blog” basically means to have full control of your blog’s domain, layout, and features. Platforms like Medium doesn’t satisfy this, but platforms like Squarespace do, if you don’t want to build your blog yourself.
You want your blog to be on a url like https://www.<startup>.com/blog so that backlinks to your posts will help build your domain’s domain authority, which in a nutshell is a hidden score Google will give your domain based on factors like your backlinks. This is especially important if your company doesn’t rank 1st for searches for your name yet, which is the case for early startups. If your posts live on medium.com, you are contributing to Medium’s domain authority.
Being able to control your blog’s layout and features is important to improve your SEO through effectively upselling email subscriptions and linking to related posts. These will be discussed later as two of the five must-do’s.
3. Write good titles
Your blog post title is one of the biggest determining factors for how much traffic your post gets. The way to think about titles is that your title will be on the search engine result page along with a bunch of other titles - how do you get users to click yours over all the other ones? The title has to convince the user that what they are looking for is on your page.
To write good titles, I recommend first doing some test google searches for terms that you want your post to rank for. You want to get a good idea of what other kinds of titles you will be competing against, to see what kind of titles are usually favored for that term. In addition, you can use autocomplete to find modifiers that are good to add in order to rank for more different terms. If you want to spend money for more specific query data, there are companies like Ahrefs that will give you this data also.
Don’t let writing your title just be an afterthought after finishing your post. The difference between a bad and good title can be a 10x difference in traffic, so in a way it can even be more important than the content of your post.
4. Upsell email subscriptions
A core growth concept is that retention is generally more important than acquisition. You can think of getting user traffic as blog reader acquisition, and repeat visits as blog reader retention. Email subscriptions are the most common way to get readers to come back. However, a lot of the time email subscription upsells are not visible enough, for example at the bottom of the blog, where some users who may be interested in subscribing don’t even reach. Similar to how you likely have a prominent CTA on your homepage, you should have one on every blog post.
Atrium puts a full screen interstitial when you scroll:
So, feel free to be pretty aggressive with these. You should ask yourself “Is it extremely easy for me to subscribe if I wanted to”, and the answer should be yes. Once you achieve decent subscription conversion rates, you effectively turn one visit into potentially many.
5. Link to related blog posts
Linking to related blog posts is fairly simple and does great things for your blog. First, it improves user conversion because if your reader sees that there is a lot of quality content that they’re interested in, they’re more likely to subscribe. Next, it improves SEO in a few different ways. Related blog post links generally increase the user’s time on site because instead of reading the article and bouncing, some will continue reading more articles. Generally, time on site is correlated to SEO rankings. In addition, it improves your internal linking. If you have a new blog, or if you have a high volume of posts, internal links are important to help Googlebot find all of your pages. Finally, adding titles or summaries of related posts increases the amount of relevant text on your page, which is also correlated with higher rankings. Overall, this is a must-do because of how simple it is while still providing many benefits.
Hopefully by following these tips, you can get your blog set up for success right from the start!
If your US based software startup is looking for an angel investor who can help with all things growth, please send over an email: email@example.com